The Age of Insanity: Modernity and Mental Health

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - Psychology - 224 pages

The often misunderstood modern person syndrome is a disorder linked to the conditions of living in our contemporary society. The author argues that the conditions of modernity have introduced new processes, forces, and cultural motivations that have major implications for all aspects of mental health and social well being. While modernity offers unprecedented opportunities for personal enhancement and creative expression, there is mounting evidence of a mental health crisis that demands the immediate attention of mental health professionals. In order to address the new challenges that have arisen under conditions of modernity, mental health professionals must rethink fundamental assumptions about the relationship between society and mental health, as well as the impact of modern social concerns upon individual behavior and psychological well being.

This innovative approach to mental health seeks to explain a variety of psychological trends, including the steep rise in depression, the sharp increase in the prevalence of existential disorders, and the emergence of consumption disorders. By shedding light on the interaction between modernity and mental health, Schumaker illuminates the emerging patterns of mental disturbance while also offering new and more effective intervention and prevention strategies.

 

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Contents

Introduction The Human Context of Modernity
1
Megatrends in Identity Consciousness and Psychological Defense
13
Materialism Consumption and Mental Health
29
The Cultural Dynamics of Western Depression
51
The New Anxiety
69
Modernity and Interpersonal Health
83
Spiritual and Existential Health
107
Mental Health and the Physical World
139
The New Mental Health Worker
169
Notes
179
Bibliography
197
Index
215
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Page 197 - Allen, LR, Long, PT, Perdue, RR and Kieselbach, S. (1988) 'The impact of tourism development on residents' perceptions of community life'.

About the author (2001)

JOHN F. SCHUMAKER is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has authored and edited nine books and numerous chapters and journal articles.

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